It’s strange how sometimes you can find yourself resisting the very thing that you know will help.
Maybe, it’s because it feels like too much effort or maybe you’ve forgotten how much it might benefit you.
It could be something as simple as going for a walk when you’re feeling down. Perhaps, the thought of putting on proper clothes, doing your hair and seeing other people when you’re not at your best is enough to make you think that staying inside is the better option.
But the longer you stay inside the more difficult it’ll be to convince yourself to go outside.
Sometimes even when you know something might help you can’t being yourselves to do it because you’re not in a hopeful mindset. You don’t feel like trying to make things better because in that moment you don’t even believe it’s possible.
But why not do the thing that might help anyway and see how you feel afterwards. It might not make things better but it definitely won’t make things worse.
The feeling of regret is always uncomfortable, especially when you think that making a different choice would have led to a better life.
When you reach this conclusion, what do you do next?
Do you take charge, choose the other choice and commit to it in order to reach the outcome you believe is possible.
Or do you get swept up in the feeling of regret and allow your mind to go round and round in circles telling stories about how that single choice you made has ruined your life.
The other option is to stick with the decision you made and make the best of the path you’re on.
It can be difficult to decide but if you put less pressure on the decision you make, things start to feel a whole lot easier.
What also helps is knowing that whatever you pick, things will turn out totally fine.
When it comes to opening up, do you know what you need in order to feel safe?
A starting point is to ask yourself ‘Will what I am about to say be handled with care?’
I’ve learnt that people often hold their challenges dear. Even if it’s not deeply affecting them now they still require a level of care when it’s being discussed.
For example, you probably want more than just ‘oh wow, glad you’re okay’ when opening up about a past period of depression.
Another question to ask is ‘What do I want from this situation?’
Many times when we open up to people, we want something particular from them in return. But often we don’t realise until it’s too late.
A common example is discussing an issue you’re having and getting annoyed when the other person tries to offer advice or tell you what to do. Turns out you just wanted someone to listen.
And so overall, creating a safe space is a combination of knowing what makes you feel safe, voicing what you need and (as always) picking the right people.
Just a little reminder for whenever you get overwhelmed with everything that is going on. It can be easy to forget how far you’ve come or all the helpful things that you’ve learnt.
Going for a walk – I think this must be one of the most popular things that people do to clear their head plus it gets the body moving.
Sitting in silence – We rarely sit in silence there’s always something whether you’re listening by choice or it’s background noise like music, TV or a conversation.
Talking to a friend – Choose someone that will listen but be mindful and ask before offloading. You don’t have to even talk about the issue at hand maybe just have a random chat about life.
Talking to a stranger – Not literally but some that is unbiased and not part of your everyday life like a therapist or a helpline set up to support people with different issues they’re facing.
Meditation – Maybe your mediation is sitting in silence but maybe it’s a guided mediation to ease stress or anxiety. It helps to be still sometimes and we often underestimate the impact it can have because we feel like it won’t help to just stop or at least slow down.
EFT – Also known as tapping. This is probably one of the most unexpectedly helpful things I’ve ever come across. I love that it doesn’t require any materials and is easy to do.
Laughter – They call laughter the medicine of life and I believe it. Something funny can totally shift your mood on days when you feel down.
Dancing – Dancing brings me so much joy and it’s another way to get the body moving. When your feeling down and remain still it enables the emotions to become heavy and weigh you down. Plus if dancing is something you associate with fun or celebrations it’ll actually help you feel better.
Uplifting words – Whether it’s podcasts, talks, songs or books, find words that uplift you. I even find it helpful to read back my own words because much of what I write is timeless and based around overcoming challenges.
Now might be the perfect time.
If you find yourself stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, you might also feel a little helpless.
But the chances are you actually have a pretty good idea of what you can do to help yourself.
Rest, put your phone down, turn off your tv or computer, phone a friend, stretch…
However, despite knowing what to do and knowing what will help, we refuse to tend to our own needs.
People will often say things like I don’t have time to rest or I’m too busy to take a break.
But the truth is that mindset comes from not valuing taking care of your well being.
It might feel strange at first but it’s much better for you to regularly rest from life than to be forced to rest every time you work yourself into the ground.
It’s easy to be grateful when things are going your way.
But when times are uncertain and life has thrown a spanner in the works gratitude often becomes a little more challenging.
Suddenly the most prominent things are the bad stuff and you’re not thankful for your life being turned upside down.
In these times it’s even more important to practice gratitude.
The real benefits of the practice come when you’re able to make it a part of your lifestyle, independent of your circumstances.
And so maybe it used to be I’m grateful for getting to be apart of this exciting project or some other major thing that you feel like shouting from the rooftops. But now it’s more like I’m grateful for these cosy socks, the flowers in my garden and running water.
Or perhaps the title should read ‘How to be eternally disappointed‘.
I don’t believe in working yourself to the bone (well it’s not for me anyway) however if your expectations are sky high, you might have to.
You can’t sit around passively going through life like a sociological ritualist and expecting the world.
You’ll only end up disappointed.
You can’t be half-hearted either.
You gotta go, go, go with full gusto.
But to avoid burnout you have to be smart about your approach and find ways to be productive and get things done whilst maintaining your overall well-being.
A few ideas are to have set working times, get at least 7 hours sleep a night and make time to do something relaxing like meditate, get a massage, or go for a walk.
There’s something about the word ‘manifestation’ or ‘manifest’ that has me furrowing my brows and more than willing to roll my eyeballs the whole 360. I began to notice the word around the time when everyone got into that book ‘The Secret’ and the law of attraction.
Suddenly people were declaring that you can attract whatever you want or desire by just thinking about it. According to them it was easy, as easy as cherry pie.
Maybe my reluctance to ‘get on board’ had something to do with my personal circumstances at the time, the fact that I can be a little cynical or maybe I just felt like there had to be more to it.
But then years later I started to notice a common thread in the events occurring in my life. Things I had once written down, daydreamed about or visualised started to happen in real life with total ease and no physical effort on my part.
Yet in parallel there were also things happening in my life that were sort of like misinterpretations of what I wanted.
As someone who likes to find a way of understanding things even if there is no scientific evidence to support my idea, I managed to figure out the cause of these ‘misinterpretations’.
These misinterpretations were simply an error in the programming where the output didn’t match the input, except for it did. These misinterpretations were happening in the areas of my life where I was most uncertain or conflicted about what I truly wanted.
At the time I was reading a book and it contained a whole section on setting intentions. It mentioned being clear, describing things though the 5 senses and focusing on what you want instead of what you don’t want.
I suppose to summarise I can say that I believe in visualisation and writing things down. My own life is living proof that it works but if you aren’t clear about what you want you might end up something you’re not quite satisfied with.
I was recently reminded that no, I do not always need to push through and continue on as normal if I’m not feeling well.
I decided to take a much needed break and just rest. I lay in bed and drifted in and out of slumber, reflected on how I was feeling within myself and drank ginger tea.
It felt amazing to not have pushed on with working, studying and writing. Granted writing doesn’t take much out of me physically but I also needed to give my mind a rest which I don’t do enough.
As I lay in bed with my fleece on and a blanket at my feet with no phone, book, laptop or pen and paper, I realised that this simple act of nothingness had become a rarity in my life.
It was like a sort of informal mediation. It was much needed and I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was that it took me feeling unwell to simply take a moment for myself.
I was taking a walk on my lunch break one afternoon when I saw someone I kind of hoped to never see again, or at least I thought I saw them.
To my surprise in that moment I felt a change in my body, a feeling of discomfort. As I kept walking, I began to think about how much things have the ability to move us.
How secure are we in ourselves that everyday moments don’t greatly impact us?
Are we walking around and carrying this mental practice of only feeling good when certain things are happening?
I think it’s good to really pay attention to how your body physically feels as you go through daily life. Often we end up holding onto little things and carrying them in our bodies which can eventually lead to physical ailments.
So, just pay attention and when stuff comes up find a way to shake it off and not allow it to impact your day.